New bird on the block joins rivalry
Published: Monday, March 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07
Between Layne's, Raising Cane's and Chicken Express, there's not exactly a shortage of chicken restaurants in College Station. Still, another one will open its doors with plans to shake things up a bit.
Fowl Digits is the brainchild of Mark Holubec, Class of 1985. He said he wanted to open a restaurant more akin to a sports bar than a fast food joint. His wife Anne, Class of 1984, and brother Bryan, Class of 1987, are helping Holubec with the process.
"I just came up with it," Holubec said. "It's a fun place to take your family, have a beer and watch TV."
According to Fowl Digits' Facebook page, the restaurant is purported to have over 50 flat screen, high-definition TVs that aid its sports-bar purpose. Another of Holubec's goals was to make Fowl Digits more of a family-oriented dining experience — a restaurant that offers something for the young and old alike.
"At the end of the day, kids can eat chicken fingers and watch TV while mom and dad can have a beer," Holubec said.The primary difference between Fowl Digits and its competitors lies in the menu. First, Fowl Digits is a bar, so alcohol — primarily beer and margaritas — is on the drink menu. Also, fried is not the only option at Fowl Digits; customers can order chicken fingers oven-roasted or char-grilled. Fowl Digits also plans to serve chicken in a variety of dishes, ranging from salads to quesadillas.
"There are lots of ways to serve a chicken finger, and we'll figure it all out," Holubec said.
As a result of the differences, employees from both Layne's and Cane's have welcomed their new neighbor.
"I just think that it's another chicken place in a row of three," said Will Lee, an employee at Layne's. "It won't be as bad a rivalry as Layne's and Cane's. They'll serve other things, and it won't be a total exact copy. We're kind of excited about it."
Other employees are actually anticipating the arrival of Fowl Digits.
"It sounds like they have an interesting business model, and we look forward to the competition," said Miguel Duque, senior environmental studies major and Cane's employee.
Even though Fowl Digits' competitors have been in town for many years, the reaction among some students has been quite positive.
"Honestly, I would say the market is open enough to handle a third chicken finger place, but I think the tradition of Layne's would keep it afloat," said Steven Taylor, junior industrial engineering major. "Cane's is a chain restaurant, so they can handle competition better."
Furthermore, the general consensus among students is that alcohol on the menu is what really distinguishes Fowl Digits from its peers and is what will draw in the crowds, in particular those who want alcohol but do not necessarily want to travel all the way to Northgate.
"The sports bar will be the thing that gives them the edge," Taylor said. "It will cater to a larger crowd."
Whether loyal to Layne's or to Cane's, many are ready to take a bite out of Fowl Digits.
"Overall, I'm excited to try it," Duque said.